Toyota AWD and 4WD Systems

Toyota offers an striking lineup of front wheel drive (FWD) vehicles, plus an additonal four available all-wheel drive (AWD) and a four-wheel drive (4WD) systems to choose from spread across 8 different models. Your vehicle needs to be ready to your lifestyle, whether that could mean driving through ice and snow, mudding down a hill, or exploring the great Ontario frontier. Your daily commute needs to be just as comfortable and safe as those rare adventures, so reliable control is essential in your Toyota. 

Your 2019 & 2020 Toyota vehicle’s powertrain does more than simply drive the wheels. It's in charge of to moving the entire vehicle while also considering the driver, passenger, and any cargo. It also needs to confidently synchronize electronic vehicle control systems with ever-changing road surfaces and weather conditions. In and around the Ottawa area, this means flexibility and capability are vital. That’s why one system for all vehicles just isn’t enough. 

Each Toyota vehicle comes with a specialized drive system engineered to expertly match the requirements of the driver’s needs. With that in mind, we have crafted separate resources for each of the drivetrain combinations currently available. 

All-Wheel Drive (AWD)

AWD w/ Active Torque Control:

2019 toyota sienna AWD with active torque control on snowy road

2019 & 2020 Toyota Sienna AWD models

The 2020 Toyota Sienna AWD is Canada’s only all-wheel drive passenger minivan. Available in the 2020 Sienna LE, SE, and XLE models, this system is focuses on maximizing fuel efficiency. The front wheels receive the full power until slippage is detected, then the system automatically shifts into AWD mode to send additional torque to the rear wheels. You'll save fuel with the default everyday FWD, which reserves power for the rear wheels only when needed. With up to a 50:50 front-to-rear ratio, you can safely drive the whole family without having to change your daily driving habits. 

Dynamic Torque Control AWD:

2019 toyota highlander AWD with dynamic torque control on snow and ice road

2019 Toyota Highlander (gas) & 2019 Toyota RAV4 (gas)

Not only does Dynamic Torque Control AWD redirect up to 50% of torque to the rear axle in low-traction conditions, it also has a massive additional benefit, even for everyday driving. A steering angle sensor detects the need in cornering to optimize front end traction and provide overall stability. With the Dynamic Torque Control AWD system directs up to 10% of the vehicle’s torque to the rear wheels to improve handling through corners, even in non-slip conditions.

All-Wheel Drive with Intelligence (AWD-i)

2019 toyota rav4 hybrid all-wheel drive with intelligence AWD-i driving on ice and snow

2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, 2019 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

What sets All-Wheel Drive with Intelligence apart from the other Toyota AWD systems is its additional powerful electric drive motor that operates just for the rear wheels, instead of a typical centre differential-type setup. Much like Dynamic Torque Control AWD, Toyota’s AWD-i is able to sense the steering angle or any wheel slippage, then automatically directs torque to the rear wheels in order to stabilize the vehicle and gives the driver maximum control on the road. 

During acceleration, AWD-i provides added power to the rear wheels to help with quicker starts and even towing. In fact, properly equipped Toyota RAV4 Hybrid AWD-i models have higher towing capacities than their gas-only counterparts!

Electronic All-Wheel Drive (AWD-e)

2019 Toyota Prius all wheel drive AWD skiing icy snowy road

2019 Prius AWD-e & Technology AWD-e

All-new and exclusive to the 2019 Prius, Electronic All-Wheel Drive is designed to make your daily commute stress-free all year with a system similar to that found in the Highlander and RAV4 hybrids. However, the AWD-e system is unique in that it offers additional traction for speeds up to 69 kph, so that you can still expect a combined superior fuel efficiency of 4.7 L/100km. When awd-e feature is not in use, 100% of power goes back to the front wheels.

Four-Wheel Drive (4WD)

2019 tacoma 4x4 four wheel drive 4wd driving muddy road

2019 4Runner, 2019 Sequoia, 2019 Tacoma 4x4, 2019 Tundra 4x4

The beaten path is a lot easier to navigate thanks to Toyota four-wheel drive systems. In the “part time” 4WD system is a manually-selected drivetrain mode that can be chosen for the outside environment’s demands. Toyotas with this full-wheel drive system get maxized fuel efficiency by running in rear-wheel drive model for everyday use. When the road changes, the driver is able to quickly shift the centre differential to create a mechanical lock between the front and rear wheels. With a simple flick of an electronic switch or a gear selector, it’s time to drive.

How far you go is up to you once the powerful Toyota drivetrain sends torque to both ends of your rig. What sets the part-time 4WD apart is that you make the front-rear connection when you’re ready. That means the power is also in your hands to remember to shift out of 4WD when your back on dry pavement. Otherwise, the result could be binding from high-traction driving with a locked centre differential.